Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen: Head-to-Toe Breakdown
On UFC Tonight recently, Chael Sonnen announced straight into the camera that his intentions were to drop back to middleweight after his upcoming bout with Mauricio Rua. In that division, a potential rival awaits his return.
There is no doubt that Vitor Belfort is worthy of a title shot right now after Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman duke it out. However, in the meantime, Belfort could throw down with a man he has traded shots in the media with in Sonnen.
Should the fight be booked in the near future, here is a head-to-toe-breakdown on a Sonnen-Belfort encounter.
Have you seen Vitor Belfort's striking lately? It's bad enough that he has some of the fastest hands in MMA, but he has knocked out his last two adversaries with his feet!
Michael Bisping was first. He took a vicious head kick from Belfort that had the Brit staggering for consciousness.
Then it was Luke Rockhold. The former Strikeforce champion ate a wheel kick that may be the best knockout of 2013 so far.
When looking at Chael Sonnen's striking, it is basically used to score a takedown. From there, he uses ground-and-pound, showing his on-the-feet striking has a purpose other than fishing for the knockout.
I think it's obvious who has the edge here.
There isn't much method to the madness that is Chael Sonnen's MMA game. He moves forward, shoots a double-leg takedown and utilizes ground-and-pound with his heavy top position.
As for Belfort, he has much better wrestling than people give him credit for. He uses it defensively, but there is no doubt his time at Xtreme Couture sent him on his way in this category.
All things considered, the American is clearly the better wrestler. Literally, it is his game plan every time he steps in the cage.
If there is one knock on Chael Sonnen's game, it has been his submission defense. The man has been caught in more triangles than a sailor near Bermuda.
It is the thing that snatched the title away from him in his bout with Anderson Silva. While Sonnen does have some submission offense, he should shy away from the submission aspect of the game.
Belfort is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, and though he doesn't rely on his ground game much, it is very refined. He is the closest man to finish Jon Jones when he nearly tapped him with an armbar.
Sonnen's weakness is unfortunately a strength of the Brazilian.
If these two met, I am afraid the chips would be stacked against Chael Sonnen. As much as many people love him, he is not nearly as well-rounded as Vitor Belfort.
Sonnen's game would be attempting to take Belfort down. I feel Belfort's counter-wrestling is strong enough that he could fend off the American's attack and plant him with strikes.
Belfort's hands would be on display again, as he would earn yet another knockout against the outspoken Sonnen.
Prediction: Belfort def. Sonnen via TKO